These Awards were the brain-child of the late Peter Pelling. His intention was to honour those who work for the good of our local Community, or who inspire others through their achievements. The first Ceremony was held in 1994.
Peter’s wish was that the award should be “of the people, for the people, of Whitchurch”. This means that, although the Town Council administers the scheme, and organises the Ceremony, the nominees and subsequent recipients are decided by fellow residents of the Town.
Four Adult, and one Youth, Awards are generally presented each year. If there are too many nominees, a committee consisting of one councillor, one member of the clergy, and one previous recipient is set up to make the difficult, final decision.
On Monday 30th January 2006, five, well deserved awards were presented by the Mayor, Cllr. Irene Clark, at the 13th Annual Ceremony.
The first two Recipients were nominated for their long-standing and loyal support of the 1st Whitchurch Scout Group. Jane Pattenden and Anne Barnes have both been members of the Committee for many years, and have committed countless hours to all the varied fund raising activities held over that time. Jane has often assisted at Cubs’ nights and Cub Camp as a non-uniformed leader, and in her official capacity as both Chairman and Secretary to the Committee, co-ordinated much of the recent building project. The completion of the new Scout Headquarters at Bere Hill means that the children of Whitchurch will be reaping the benefits of both Jane’s and Anne’s efforts for many years to come.
Steve Boxall received his award for 30 years service in the Whitchurch Fire Brigade, the latter part of which he has been Sub-Officer in Charge. We understand that he has reached an age when he could gracefully retire, but has chosen to continue, and has just passed fit to serve the Brigade for yet another year. He has attended innumerable local fires, most notably the fire which destroyed Tangley House, near Andover, and sadly took the lives of MP Michael Colvin and his wife; also the fire at the Churchill Plaza building in Basingstoke, which started on the 8th floor and spread to the 10th. Steve has had many a local night out, or family party, interrupted by his emergency personal alarm calling him to the fire station, and his commitment is honoured here tonight.
The Youth Award went this year to Joseph Paxton. Joe is a talented musician and recently took over directorship of All Hallows Church Choir. He has approached the task with enthusiasm and confidence, finding new music, taking rehearsals, and conducting at Services. He was responsible for the music at the Christmas Candlelit Carol Service, which received much praise. He also played the organ for the Community Carol Service held at All Hallows. Joe enjoys playing and accompanying at local musical events in and around Whitchurch and is also a keen Church bell ringer. We wish Joseph well in his future studies and career.
Phil Cooper was nominated for his varied work in the Community. He has helped to “put Whitchurch on the map” as the Co-ordinator for the Potato Days, held each year in January at Testbourne Community School. People from all over the south of England, and further afield, now come to purchase their seed potatoes and enjoy the events organised throughout the weekend. Phil has been the Treasurer of the Whitchurch Garden Association for the past ten years, and is an active member of the Committee. More recently, Phil became an early volunteer for the new Whitchurch Association. He manages the Whitchurch web-site, and was very involved with the Town Centre Christmas festivities ~ even producing snow at the Town Hall, when none was forecast!
If you would like to nominate an “Un-sung Hero”, or a young person for achievement, not necessarily academic, you will need to write to or e-mail Cathy Burt, at the Town Hall, (with as much detail as possible, please), between November 1st and 31st December each year, for Awards to be presented in the following January. There will be Press notices to remind you of these dates!
Please not that nominations that are not successful in one year must be re-submitted the next. Originals can not be held over.y
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